Wetting and spreading of long-chain ZDOL polymer nanodroplet on graphene-coated amorphous carbon

V Sorkin and YW Zhang, SURFACE SCIENCE, 630, 71-77 (2014).

DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2014.07.004

Wetting transparency/translucency/opacity of graphene recently has attracted great interest. The underlying mechanisms and physics for simple liquid droplets containing small molecules on graphene coated crystalline substrates have been studied extensively. However, the behavior of more complicated polymeric droplets on graphene coated amorphous substrates has not been explored. In this work, we perform molecular dynamics simulations to examine the wetting of long-chain ZDOL polymeric droplet on graphene coated amorphous hydrogenated diamond-like carbon or DLCH. We find that at room temperature, the droplet adopts a nearly spherical cap shape with no protruding foot on bare DLCH, and a complex multi-layered structure is formed at the droplet-substrate interface. With addition of graphene layers, externally, the height of the droplet decreases and the protruding foot at the droplet edge appears and grows in size; while internally, the complex multi-layered structure near the droplet-substrate interface remains, but the density distribution for the formed layers becomes increasingly non-uniform. A steady state of the droplet is attained when the number of graphene layers reaches three. These changes can be explained by the interactions between the droplet and substrate across the number of graphene layers. Therefore, it is concluded that the graphene monolayer and bilayer are translucent, while trilayer and above are opaque from the wetting point of view. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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